BACKGROUND: The plasma proteome can be quantified using different types of highly multiplexed technologies, including aptamer-based and proximity-extension immunoassay methods. There has been limited characterization of how these protein measurements correlate across platforms and with absolute measures from targeted immunoassays. METHODS: We assessed the comparability of (a) highly multiplexed aptamer-based (SomaScan v4; Somalogic) and proximity-extension immunoassay (OLINK Proseek® v5003; Olink) methods in 427 Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study participants (Visit 5, 2011-2013), and (b) 18 of the SomaScan protein measurements against targeted immunoassays in 110 participants (55 cardiovascular disease cases, 55 controls). We calculated Spearman correlations (r) between the different measurements and compared associations with case-control status. RESULTS: There were 417 protein comparisons (366 unique proteins) between the SomaScan and Olink platforms. The average correlation was r = 0.46 (range: -0.21 to 0.97; 79 [19%] with r ≥ 0.8). For the comparison of SomaScan and targeted immunoassays, 6 of 18 assays (growth differentiation factor 15 [GDF15], interleukin-1 receptor-like 1 [ST2], interstitial collagenase [MMP1], adiponectin, leptin, and resistin) had good correlations (r ≥ 0.8), 2 had modest correlations (0.5 ≤ r < 0.8; osteopontin and interleukin-6 [IL6]), and 10 were poorly correlated (r < 0.5; metalloproteinase inhibitor 1 [TIMP1], stromelysin-1 [MMP3], matrilysin [MMP7], C-C motif chemokine 2 [MCP1], interleukin-10 [IL10], vascular cell adhesion protein 1 [VCAM1], intercellular adhesion molecule 1 [ICAM1], interleukin-18 [IL18], tumor necrosis factor [TNFα], and visfatin) overall. Correlations for SomaScan and targeted immunoassays were similar according to case status. CONCLUSIONS: There is variation in the quantitative measurements for many proteins across aptamer-based and proximity-extension immunoassays (approximately 1/2 showing good or modest correlation and approximately 1/2 poor correlation) and also for correlations of these highly multiplexed technologies with targeted immunoassays. Design and interpretation of protein quantification studies should be informed by the variation across measurement techniques for each protein.
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